Leave a legacy for life beyond armed conflict

Leave a legacy for life beyond armed conflict

Request our brochure

Remembering the ICRC in your will is really easy to do, and is one of the most wonderful ways you can help people caught up in armed conflict. Request our legacy brochure today.
I would like to receive the legacy brochure at home, by post.

Our free legacy brochure contains: Instructions for writing a valid will, information on what you can leave in your will and different samples of wills.


We're truly grateful...

...for you being here, for considering the ICRC in your will and for believing in life beyond armed conflict. Every gift, however large or small truly makes a difference.

In the video below, you will see how your generosity  can transform the lives of people living in conflict zones.

Why write a will?

A will gives us all greater freedom of choice to give what we want to family and friends and to charities we are passionate about. If you don't leave a will, your estate will be settled in accordance with the law of your country. If you live in Switzerland, the entire estate will be shared between the legal heirs. If you have no heirs, your estate will be awarded to the canton or the municipality where you lived.

It is also important to remember that you can revoke or change your will at any time.


How to make a will?

The requirements for a will vary widely from one country to another. In Switzerland, for instance, a signed, dated, handwritten document, stating the place of signature, constitutes a valid will.
In Switzerland there are two kinds of will you can make:

Holographic will: written entirely in your own hand, this is the simplest kind of will.

∎ Notarial will: drawn up in the presence of two witnesses and before a notary or any other person empowered to do so, this document guarantees that your will complies with the law.

If you opt for a holographic will, you should be sure that the document will ensure your final wishes are respected.
You should always consult a professional, such as a notary public, lawyer, bank official or financial consultant, to make sure that your will says what you want it to and that it complies with the law, especially regarding the entitlements of family members.


How to include the ICRC in my will?

Because the term 'Red Cross' is open to a variety of interpretations, please make sure to indicate the name as well as the address of the ICRC:

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), IDE: CHE-105.924.024
19 Avenue de la Paix
1202 Geneva

Please specify the kind of legacy gift you wish to leave. Indicate the place and date of signature and make sure you sign your will. 


Can a small gift in a will make a difference?

Yes. The act of giving is meaningful, whatever the amount involved. When you write the ICRC in your will, you have an impact on the lives of victims of armed conflict and you are giving them a future beyond war. Every gift in a will is important to the people we help, however large or small.


What can I leave in my will?

It is entirely your choice what you leave in your will and depends on your personal circumstances but can include:

∎ A sum of money

∎ A percentage of your estate (e.g. 1%, 10% or up to 100%, depending on your personal circumstances and domestic inheritance laws)

∎ Shares and other investments

∎ A specific item (e.g. a painting or piece of jewellery that you own) 

If you would like the ICRC to receive all or part of your estate after the death of the original beneficiary (in other words, the ICRC would receive your gift only after the death of your husband/wife/son/daughter), you can specify this in your will. For more information, please contact Marie-Jo Girod. She will be happy to help.


Will the ICRC have to pay inheritance tax?

In most countries, the ICRC is exempt from inheritance tax on legacies. However, it is a good idea to contact us first to make sure, or to seek professional advice.


Can I leave a gift in my will for a specific ICRC programme or country?

If you would like your legacy to be used in a particular country, like Syria, or for a particular group of people, such as children, please get in touch so we can discuss your wishes. It is possible that our operations in a specific country will come to an end in the future. It is also easier for us to manage a more general request, such as helping to reconnect families, than one marked specifically for children. Greater flexibility means we can decide how best to use funding at a time.


Should I inform the ICRC of my intentions?

That is entirely your choice. We are very touched by the solidarity and the generosity of people who leave the ICRC in their will and are keen to hear from each and every one of you and to be able to thank you for your gift. But we value your privacy and do not want to put any pressure on you.

If you would like to talk about attributing your gift to a specific region or programme, you might want to talk to us about this so we can ensure your gift is used for the purpose you are most passionate about.


Will leaving a gift in my will take away money from my loved ones?

We understand that taking care of your family and loved ones will always come first. We are very grateful for any gift you may choose to leave the ICRC after you have looked after them. Please be assured that even the smallest gestures can make the biggest difference in someone's life.

Who inherits what and how much? How much can I bequeath freely?

With the help of our will calculator, you can find out in just a few clicks how your assets will be divided, how large the statutory compulsary portion is and what proportion of your inheritance is freely available to you.

Learn more

This service is only applicable to Swiss inheritance law.

Our promise to you

We understand that including a gift in your will is a personal matter that requires time and careful consideration. That is why we want you to know how much we appreciate this very special gesture and promise you that

We will always understand that your own family, friends and loved ones come first in your will.

We will not put pressure on you to include a gift to us in your will – it is your decision.

We will never ask you how big or what type of gift you have chosen to make.

We will always respect your privacy – you do not have to tell us your intentions. However, we would like to be able to thank you and to offer a way of having your generosity remembered by future generations.

We fully understand that personal circumstances change and there might come a time when you have to remove the ICRC from your will.

We promise to use your gift wisely.

We will honour your wish if you would like your gift to be used in a special way.

Marie-Jo Girod